Fundamentalism in Late Antiquity? The Christianity of Epiphanius of Cyprus


Young Kim


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Faculty Lectureship Award Series


Epiphanius was metropolitan bishop of Cyprus in the late fourth century, an era characterized by intense theological disputes and struggles for ecclesiastical authority. He was the author of the Panarion, a lengthy heresiology which compiled information on the beliefs, practices, and corresponding refutations of eighty different heresies. A careful reading of this text reveals his fundamental belief that (Neo-)Nicene Christi anity was the only true "orthodox" expression of the faith. For Epiphanius, this version of Christianity defined and informed every facet of life, including his understanding of human history, culture, and empire, and he condemned as heretics anyone who distorted or opposed his views. Such convictions bear striking "family resemblances" to fundamentalism in modern can we then conceive of a "fundamentalist" ancient Christianity? The lecture explores this possibility through the lens of the life, work, and thought of Epiphanius.

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